Since my post last night about the Wikileaks affair, all sorts of things have continued to come to light. A couple caught my eye.
CBS reports that the scandal may affect government's approach to the freedom of information in general.
After the latest WikiLeaks revelations, the government is setting in motion a new information “big chill,” reversing almost a decade of post-Sept. 11 efforts to nudge U.S. officials into sharing sensitive documents.
The Pentagon has detailed new security safeguards, including restraints on small computer flash drives, to make it harder for any one person to copy and reveal so many secrets. The clampdown parallels efforts at other agencies.
For the military it represents a throttling back of initiatives to let other agencies see more of the vast trove of data the Pentagon collects. The new attitude may also make intelligence information less widely available to low-level soldiers serving at “the tip of the spear” in Iraq and Afghanistan.
. . .
As part of the 9/11 Commission reforms, the position of director for national intelligence was created to serve as nexus and arbiter for the 16-agency intelligence community and to ensure stovepiping was avoided. Various government agencies were given access to terminals in each other’s data systems. In the case of the Pentagon and State Department, it brought wholesale sharing of information on the same computer system.
That loosened access may have helped enable a lone Army private to obtain sensitive files. Bradley Manning is being held in a maximum-security military brig at Quantico, Va., and though he has not yet been charged in the latest release of internal U.S. government documents, WikiLeaks has hailed him as a hero.
. . .
SIPR is short for Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, and it’s thought to be the route by which accused leaker Manning accessed the information.
After 9/11, the cash-strapped State Department adopted use of the SIPR net because it meant easier sharing of information with the military, according to Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas. The two organizations have been called on to work far more closely together in recent years under the doctrine of counterinsurgency.
But until access to that system is changed or somehow modified, diplomats “are going to put a lot less in cables now,” predicted former CIA director and retired Gen. Michael Hayden. He said people would likely “stick to phone calls,” depriving policymakers of necessary decision-making information.
There's more at the link. Interesting and thought-provoking reading.
Alan over at SnarkyBytes sums up the scandal rather well, in my opinion.
When is a secret not a secret?
When three million people know it.
. . .
When that many people have access, the reason it’s secret isn’t to keep it from the foreign powers. (They already know.)
It’s to keep it secret from you.